5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening to is a collection of our newest favorite songs. And Every week we ask an artist that we love to tell us about the music they love.
Listen to the whole thing in the player below.
1. Jabbari Parker picks “Keep Ya Head Up” by 2Pac
Every week we ask one person that we love to tell us about a song that they love.
Milwaukee Bucks basketball season has officially begun! And the Bucks are looking to be better than ever. Jabari Parker is a power forward, and one of the stars of the Milwaukee Bucks. A couple weeks ago Jabari put together a playlist for the American Heart Association’s Greater Milwaukee Heart and Stroke 5K Run.
Justin Barney: Jabari, thank you so much for being here. What’s up?
As a lifelong Bucks fan, this is a big honor.
I appreciate that.
Alright so Jabari, you made this playlist for the Milwaukee heart, and stroke 5K run, could you pull one song from this playlist that you love, and tell me what that song is and its importance to you?
It’s a Tupac song called “Keep Your Head Up”, and it’s something that resonates with my culture, through my everyday life, from a kid, and even to now. When I’m in the weight room it’s always the first song I start off with.
Through my rehab, and even now it keeps me motivated, because it gives me the brighter picture. It shows me the strength that comes from within. By just having good body language and keeping your head up, you can start off something very strong, and that’s what I always have in my heart when I play.
Right on. Why does it resonate with your culture? How?
It’s a line in the song that says, “I remember what Marvin Gaye used to sing to me, he had me feeling like black was the thing to be.”
A lot of people used to pick on me for my skin complexion, my sisters especially because they were fair skinned. I just enjoyed loving myself, and especially loving my people, and I don’t really see a bright side through my culture that’s celebrated, through skin complexion and hair texture. I learned how to love myself when Tupac gave that line.
- “Keep Ya Head Up” was released in 1993 on the album “Strictly 4 my N.I.G.G.A.Z.”
- Listen if you like: black pride, positivity, the Milwaukee Bucks
2. Hamilton Leithauser picks “You Can Count On Me” by Panda Bear
This is “5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To” and sometimes I pick the song, sometimes on staff picks the song, and sometimes we ask an artist that we love to pick the song. This is one of those days.
Hamilton Leithauser is a bit of a statesman in indie rock. He used to front the band The Walkmen, he’s done work with Vampire Weekend’s Rostam recently, and he has released a string of solo albums that we’ve loved and played from every single project that he’s done. He’s playing tonight October 24th at Turner Hall Ballroom; I’m here with Hamilton Leithauser.
Justin Barney: Hamilton, can you give me one song you can’t stop listening to, or that has been in your head recently?
Hamilton Leithauser: Sure I’ve been listening to Panda Bear a lot recently.
Justin Barney: Interesting.
Hamilton Leithauser: Yeah I like their song “You Can Count On Me” which is the first song on their record “Tomboy.” It has a real positive message and lyrics but I’ve been playing it around the house so much that my three year old daughter hears it wrong and she sings “no one can count me.” It’s just really funny to hear a three year old saying it and it just has the opposite sentiment to it.
Justin Barney: That’s so wonderful.
Hamilton Leithauser: Yeah so if you listen to it think of “no one can count on me.”
Justin Barney: Being sung by a three year old.
Hamilton Leithauser: Yeah it’s perfect.
Justin Barney: Well let’s do it. This is “You Can Count On Me” from Panda Bear.
- “You Can Count On Me” was released in 2011 on the album, “Tomboy.”
- Listen if you like: Animal Collective, Tame Impala, Hot Chip
3. Randy Newman – “She Chose Me”
There are a lot of songs about heartbreak, but not as many songs about being happy and in love.
I listened to Randy Newman’s new album, “Dark Matter” when it came out. “”Dark Matter,” is Newman’s 11th studio album. He’s done 25 film scores. Technically making this his 36th album.
Like a lot of Newman’s studio work, the album, and humor is bleak. Which I always really enjoy because it contrasts with his soundtrack work like “Toy Story,” “Princess and the Frog,” and countless Disney scores. His studio work kind of follow this path of seeing the world through his perspective that is rather dark and grim.
And then his genius is paring this jaunty orchestral soundtrack music with his gallows humor and bleak perspective.
In “Dark Matter” he shares this shadowy perspective on politics and the world but he shows that there is this bright spot through all of this, which is love.
And this song is so wonderful because he kind of puts himself down in it and shows such admiration for this person who seemingly took pity, and chose him. He is astonished that there is this person in the world who love him the way that he loves her.
I bawled the first like, three times I listened to this song. I hope that you love it as much as I do.
- “She Chose Me” was released this year on Randy Newman’s new album, “Dark Matter.”
- Listen if you like: pure love, film scores, hopeless romantics
4. Public Enemy – “Harder Than You Think”
Justin Barney: From the music desk at 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, I’m Justin Barney.
Ty Danielson: I’m Tyler Danielson.
Justin Barney: This is “5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To” and I’m here with one of our interns. How’s it going, Ty?
Ty Danielson: Pretty good, how are you?
Justin Barney: Good. What’s one song that you can’t stop listening to?
Ty Danielson: “Harder Than You Think” by Public Enemy.
Justin Barney: Why “Harder Than You Think?”
Ty Danielson: Well I first heard it in a Jake Gyllenhaal movie, End of Watch. That’s actually where all my music comes from; Jake Gyllenhaal movies. I love to listen to it when I’m riding my bike, usually coming here.
Justin Barney: Sure.
Ty Danielson: I think the lyrics are kind of about more serious material but I just ride my bike to it.
Justin Barney: Why is this song a perfect bike riding jam?
Ty Danielson: Well it all goes back to Jake Gyllenhaal. In the movie, it’s the intro song in End of Watch and they’re just riding around in their squad car, and it keeps rolling, I keep rolling, I roll with the song; we roll together.
- “Harder Than You Think” was released in 2007 on Public Enemy’s album, “How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul?”
- Listen if you like: hip-hop with acoustic guitars, also big horn sections, Flava-Flav
5. BADBADNOTGOOD feat. Sam Herring – “I Don’t Know”
Samuel Herring is the lead singer of Baltimore synth band Future Islands. Which is a great band. If there is one knock you can put on Future Islands it’s that the backing band isn’t as dynamics their lead singer Sam Herring.
BADBADNOTGOOD are a jazz group from Ontario Canada. That, alone, are also a great band, but also kind of suffer from just kind of being an instrumental group whose songs can often serve as little more than background music.
But together. These two have figured out some kind of magic. This is only the second song the two have ever teamed up on, and I’m telling you it works.
Sam Herring has a richness in his voice that BADBADNOTGOOD finds a way to pronounce. And that depth draws out all the nuisances in the instrumentals to make something that is distinct. This thing is dripping in cool.
I wish that Sam Herring and BADBADNOTGOOD would turn their fling into a full fledged relationship cause I want an album from these two. I think they should team up for good.
- “I Don’t Know” was released as a single last week.
- Listen if you like: Curtis Mayfield, the Theme from Shaft, mid-70’s sexy cool funk